How to Brush Dogs' Teeth

Dogs are prone to dental decay and gum disease if they don’t benefit of a proper dental hygiene. Learning how to brush your dogs teeth can spare your dog from dental pain and other complications. It is important that you make the teeth brushing a daily routine so that your dog gets used to it and this way you prevent any dental and gum problems.

What You Need

You should get some pet dental supplies that are suitable for your pet’s size. You need a dog tooth brush with soft bristles. Alternatively, you can choose a kids’ tooth brush.

It is essential to get toothpaste for veterinary use, as most human toothpastes can contain baking soda, which can be harmful for dogs. The pet toothpastes may have special flavors such as tuna, liver or pork; pick a toothpaste that appeals to your dog.

Get also some treats that you can administer after the cleaning.

Determine a time of the day when your dog is likely to be relaxed and allow you to brush his teeth; you can make the tooth brushing part of the daily grooming process.

In case you don’t know, a dog won’t be particularly fond of brushing his teeth, so you should try to make the activity fun and enjoyable; you can brush the dog’s teeth right before you walk him or you give him a soothing massage.

Brushing the Teeth

It is important to identify the problem areas where the dog is more likely to develop periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is more common on the upper and back teeth.

Plaque builds up after the dog eats and if this is not removed within 48 hours, it will calcify and become tartar. Tartar cannot be removed with regular pet tooth brushes and is the main source of dental decay and disease.

You probably won’t be able to brush your dog’s teeth on the first day, when you start the brushing; allow the dog to get used to the brush and tooth paste first. You can use your fingers before introducing the brush.

After your dog is used to your finger, you can try the following routine:

  • Give your dog a taste of the toothpaste and use your finger to spread the paste on the dog’s teeth and gums.
  • Get the toothbrush and brush the teeth using circular moves
  • Make sure the bristles get under the gum line
  • Start with the back teeth and move toward the front teeth
  • Get a mouth rinse for pets (it shouldn’t contain alcohol, as this is poisonous for dogs) and dry your dog’s muzzle with a soft towel

The entire teeth cleaning should take under 1 minute. Praise your dog and pat him; you may also give him a treat so that he feels truly rewarded.

Even if you brush your dog’s teeth, you still need to take him for a professional cleaning at least once per year.

Dry food and chew treats can also prevent dental problems.